Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


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Rice Cooker Kichari

Yummmmm!!! I just finished making this, and it’s delicious. Much creamier than my normal kichari, because my stove-top pot is too small for a proper batch, and it boils all over.

Well. So did this.

But the end result is worth it, and I didn’t have to stand there and *watch* it boil over. I was in the other room, doing something more productive while it boiled over. 😀 I’ll figure out how to fix the boiling over thing, but in the meantime, if you don’t mind a bit of a mess, this is THE STUFF here.

I took half a cup of mung beans (split and shelled) and half a cup of rice — completely forgot to soak either, but it worked out juuuust fine, except for the oft-mentioned boil over — and put them in the rice cooker with my standard 2 cups of water (for cooking rice). After a moment’s pondering, I added another cup or so of water, just for good measure and so I wouldn’t scorch the pooptarts out of my rice cooker. Plugged it in, turned it on. Left it alone. (My rice cooker only has one setting: “on”, so no complexity here).

In the meantime, I’d put some olive oil (I’m out of ghee) in a saucepan and started it heating, and chopped up a large potato and put that in the microwave to cook. Sautéed sliced onions and some garlic with cumin seeds in the oil,then added a dollop (about 1 Tbsp) of bacon grease from the fridge. If you’re veg, then this is not for you. :} Sorry. I wanted a little more richness than I could get with just olive oil. Added turmeric, curry powder, salt, and some other goodies – what I had on the counter – and let the onions get soft. The potatoes dinged, so I threw those in too, to get the benefit of the spices and oniony-ness and good mojo. Let that finish up for a few more minutes, then turned it off and went to weave in the other room.

Shortly thereafter, I heard the ungentle hissing of an epic boilover, but I really couldn’t be bothered to get up and check… what could I do, other than wring my hands and say “oh, dear, it’s boiling over”? After about 20 minutes, the rice cooker clicked into its warm cycle, and I bustled into the kitchen to move it to another bowl before it could crust to the surface of the rice pan. Put in oil, onions, garlic, and potatoes, and stirred. After I combined the mixtures, I tasted it – needed more spices, so I added them to taste.

The texture is smooth and creamy, unlike the slightly crunchy way it turns out on the stove. It’s pretty bodacious and I am gleefully happy with this recipe. HOORAY!!

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Crockpot Butter Chicken

I’ve been planning to try this for a while, and today was The Day. I picked a slow cooker butter chicken recipe and here we go.

The recipe I’m trying today is this one:
http://www.chefdehome.com/Recipes/597/restaurant-style-butter-chicken-in-slow-cooker

restaurant-style-easy-indian-butter-chicken-slow-cooker-chefdehome-4

This is chefdehome’s image — not mine.

It looks yummy, and — if the smell from my kitchen is anything to go by – will be delicious. I hate to say this, but I basically followed the recipe, so you might as well go over to chefdehome and check her recipe out. It’s already gluten free, because it has no hing (asafoetida), which is almost always cut with wheat.

Happy cooking! I’ll let you know how this is when it comes out of the cooker… can’t wait.


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Kichari (Kichdi) – mung beans and rice

Another Indian veg recipe here! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and my stomach’s been wonky, so I’ve been mostly eating potato chips and meat rolls (ok, fancy name for sandwich meat rolled up) and finally I had a minute to cook last night. Whew!

I’ve been wanting to try kichdi for a while, so last night was the night. Kichari or kichdi is a basic dish, using mung beans (moong dal) and basmati rice. In India, when your stomach’s not feeling good, they might give you jeera rice (cumin seed rice) or kichdi to soothe your system. Jeera rice is easy to make in the rice cooker – just make regular rice, and before you turn on the rice cooker, add cumin seeds that have been fried in oil just until they crackle, dump in both seeds and oil. Many of the kichdi recipes I’ve been seeing call for a pressure cooker, and I don’t have one, so I made this on the stovetop.

You can add any vegetables you have, and I love potatoes, so I added those.

Here’s a link to a proper kichdi recipe – I adapted this one, given what I had and my limited time: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/moong-dal-khichdi-recipe/

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mung beans, split and rinsed
1/2 cup rice
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1/4 t Ginger (I used powdered because it’s what I had – add enough for your taste)
3/4 t Cumin seeds
1/4 t Turmeric powder
Hot pepper, if you like it hot, or chili powder
Salt
Water as necessary
Potatoes, precooked and cubed – you could also use raw, but then add them in time for
them to cook
Oil

METHOD

First, rinse your mung beans and then soak the rice and beans together for about 30 minutes. I did this by putting them in a bowl with water to cover.

I put about 2 Tbsp oil (I used olive) into the pan and, after it was hot, I dropped in the cumin seeds and let them fry until they crackled. Then I put in the chopped onion and let it soften until translucent. I added my spices after the onion was translucent and then stirred well. Then I drained my rice/beans and added them to the pot, with about 2 cups of water (you’re going to cook the rice/beans in this water, so make sure there’s enough, and check back to make sure you’re not burning the bottom of the mixture), which filled my pot as full as I wanted it. I didn’t want it too full, to avoid boiling over.

Bring this mixture to a gentle boil, stirring frequently, then cook for 20 – 30 minutes, or until rice and beans are nice and soft. Add the potatoes a little bit before the end and stir well.

This mixture can be either thick and mushy or have a runnier consistency like porridge – it’s up to you and how much water you add. If you notice that it’s turning out thicker than you’d like, add more water and stir!

I served this with curd (plain yogurt or raita) and it was yummy. I did find it a bit bland, which doesn’t surprise me in food for invalids, so I’m spicing it by the bowl. No photos, I keep eating it before I can take one. lol I’ll try again this evening.

Enjoy!


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Aloo Palak, or spinach and potatoes

I had some spinach that needed to meet its Maker, and a couple of potatoes that were starting to think about becoming manky… so I searched for “spinach potatoes Indian” et voila! Here it is!

This recipe met a simple requirement: I had almost all the ingredients. I followed it pretty closely, except my potatoes refused to boil (the pan was too small and I was afraid of a turmeric boil-over, so I didn’t have them on high enough heat), so they eventually just got fished out of the pan and stuck in the microwave in a bowl on the “potato” setting. Sometimes simple is best, people. lol

A note to Celiacs and others following a strictly gluten-free diet: a lot of Indian recipes call for asafoetida, or hing. Almost all hing, from my research, seems to be cut with wheat flour. There’s one brand – I think it’s Frontier Naturals – that’s cut with rice flour instead of wheat, so that’s a very important consideration for us! Always ask at Indian restaurants if your meal will have hing in it before you order. Also, many hing labels I’ve seen in the past only list the asafoetida – not the wheat flour. So be careful!! I just leave it out of my cooking, because no amount of authenticity is worth the amount of illness that happens when I get glutened. :} One of the things I liked about this recipe is that it didn’t call for hing! 

http://www.food.com/recipe/aloo-palak-indian-potatoes-spinach-108787

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a pan cook the spinach with garlic, ginger, onions and the green chilies for about 5-10 minutes. (I waited and added the chili powder at the end, with the other spices. Also, I cooked these in some ghee, although no oil is specified.)
  2. Remove from the pan and blend to a fine puree and keep aside. (I didn’t do this; I wanted to keep it chunky. I like chunky. lol)
  3. In the meantime boil the potatoes with salt and turmeric until done, apprximately 10 minutes and set aside when done. (Yeah. This totally didn’t happen. See note above)
  4. Heat ghee in a pan, fry cumin seeds along with spinach-onion paste and simmer for a few minutes. (You want the cumin seeds to crackle!)
  5. Add the cooked potatoes, garam masala, coriander and cumin powder and a little water if needed.
  6. Simmer for few minutes till the potatoes absorb the flavor.
  7. Add fresh cream if desired. (I didn’t, but I bet this would be delish.)

I made some jheera rice (recipe to come soon; in the meantime, you can find lots of recipes for this online!) and spooned a little of the aloo palak on top. Heavenly!!

 

In the pot!

 

I’m ready for my closeup


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GF Crustless Quiche

This is the second time I’ve made this recipe, from Food Network:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/crustless-quiche-master-recipe-recipe.html

…and it’s actually quite easy. I didn’t make any major changes to it, other than just using whole eggs rather than separating them — did it the first time, but didn’t have time to fuss this second go-round — and lots of grated Parmesan on the bottom — I like it to be a little crust-like, and I have a big container of grated Parm from GFS that’s going to expire soonish. I also used 5 eggs rather than 4, because I have eggs that may go bad soon as well, and I’d rather eat them than dispose of them. Oh!! I also sprayed the pan with Pam Coconut Oil spray rather than melting butter, because again no time.

I think that’s all I did to it. lol

So I sprayed the pan, shook in lots of grated Parmesan, poured in the first half of the custard. Then I added half the cup of grated cheese (Sharp Cheddar in this case, last time I made it with more Parmesan); there had been a sale on cheese at the grocery store, so I had the Cheddar already in the freezer and thawed it for this recipe, which imo makes it a tad easier to grate.

 

After that, I tore up (roughly, in a fairly Flintstone-ian manner) and added some spinach and fresh herbs from my garden (oregano, basil, and lemon thyme), then carefully poured the rest of the custard over that so there weren’t any leaves sticking up.

I finished the top off with the other half of the grated cheddar, a shake of black pepper, and some more grated Parmesan. Now it’s in the oven! 😀 The last one was delicious, can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

  


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Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Roast

This is adapted from here, and it made up into the most delicious pulled-pork sort of thing I’ve had in a long time. I do enjoy a traditional pork roast, but… I get sick of it after a couple of servings, and I knew I was going to be eating it for a while, so I searched for slow cooker pork recipes and found this one right away. Tried it, loved it, here is my version.  :}

I’ve no idea how big my pork roast was. lol I forgot to weigh it. I just shlurped it in the pot, because that’s the kind of cook I am. I didn’t have the red pepper flakes, or broth, or Worcerstershire sauce. As you may have gathered, the overriding rule in my kitchen isn’t “measure twice, cut once”, it’s: “where is that [ingredient/implement/recipe]? Oh well, I bet this would work. Let’s try it!”

I am of the No Fear school. I just want to keep from poisoning myself long enough to eat my next meal. So far, so good… and when things turn out well, or spectacularly badly, you’ll hear about it here. Anyway — back to the pork roast.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Roast

  • pork roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I didn’t have, so I put in a pinch of red pepper powder)
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth (I used water)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I used Black Cherry balsamic vinegar instead)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Season the pork with salt, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and place it into the slow cooker. Mix together the broth and vinegar and pour it over the pork, then pour the honey over and set the timer for 4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low.

Once the pork is cooked and tender (it should shred easily with a fork), remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and put back into the slow cooker and ladle 1/2 cup sauce over the pork and keep warm until ready to eat.

There are days, with my Fibromyalgia/migraines/ADD, where I don’t read things worth a tinker’s damn, and this was one of those days. I did the instructions *completely wrong*. I put the pork into the Crock Pot (I was using the smallest one), and just tossed the wet ingredients in over it. Then realized I was supposed to have seasoned the meat first with the spices… oops. I didn’t want to get all gooey with honey (I’m also a tad OCD about my fingers when I’m deep in migraine country), so I got a big spoon and rubbed the spices onto the meat in kind of a half-doing-it way. It was pretty bad. lol The bottom of the meat got nothing. :} I spooned some of the juices back over it as kind of an apology, or a plea to the goddess of the Crock to bless my meal in spite of my failings, then turned it on Low and stuck on the lid.

The Crock Pot goddess apparently found favor in my offering, because that pork came out delicious. It was tender, it was scrumptious, just a little spicy, tangy, sweet, omg good. I’m definitely making it again. 😀

Unfortunately, another thing I didn’t do is take photos. If you’d really like to see some, you can click on the link above and look at their beautiful glossy photos and see how they did the recipe in all of its achingly perfect correctness. lol It’s gorgeous.

Until next time, my friends!!